Yes, we're going to try and keep two cockerels together. Barnevelders are one breed where it may well work.
I arrived at the allotment about an hour later, let the girls out s on to the path so they could eat grass, and let the two Boys out into the main area. They came out of the "chick area", eventually, and spent ages investigating. They didn't meet the girls.
I did all the housekeeping, and called the Girls in for some vegetables. The Boys panicked a little, and stayed out of the way. Over the next half hour or so, they worked their way into the same area that the Girls were in, but kept their distance.
Violet, one of the previous year's Girls, went up to them and stared at them. She wandered off.
Simon was eating some spring greens when Elizabeth walked up behind him, and biffed him up the bottom. He leapt in the air, straight up like a pheasant, and hurried away.
I sprinkled corn amongst the leaves, so everyone had plenty of reason to forage. Gradually the boys separated from each other and worked their way around the area. They came back together every so often, and exchanged quiet clucks. They were definitely sharing info and trying to work out what had happened.
Much later, Simon tried crowing again, and received a response from a cockerel a long long way away. They had a convo for a while, and then it all died down.
I left them to it.
We went back the next day, and all was fine. The Boys were in the same area as the Girls, and were being ignored. They have made no attempts to tempt the girls over with a bit of corn, and we've seen no activity (don't blame them, it's far too cold). I think it'll be a while before they realise it's their job to find food and tidbits for the Girls. They are a slow maturing breed, so they're still just young boys themselves.
Ping and Pong, our Dorking girls(bought in as chicks the year before Violet, Elizabeth and Bott), are looking much more relaxed and are milling around with the main flock more . Bertie was vile to them, I think they rejected his advances early on, and he never forgave them.
We don't know yet whether the Boys are sleeping in the Cube still or whether they've moved to the main coop. I know the Girls were occupying 2 coops between them before Bertie went, so it will be interesting to see how this works out.
I'm keen to shut the "Chick" area down so we can do something about the ground. It's been very denuded, despite normally only being used for a few months a year. I want to move the Cube off it, into our current fallow area, so I can move 2 or 3 of this year's Girls down to the Allotment. DH was rather surprised at this, he assumed that I'd be keeping all 5 of the Newbies here at home.
They need somewhere to stay for a short while before we introduce them to all the others.I wonder if the boys will recognise their hatchmates? Will the Girls recognise the biys?
It was Other Chap's turn to name the cockerels, so they have been renamed "Mutt" and "Geoff".
Onward and upward.